Egypt's AlMasria plans Russian routes

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AlMasria Universal Airlines is looking to launch regular flights to Moscow and St Petersburg.

The Egyptian carrier plans to serve both cities from Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada using Airbus A320/321s, an application submitted to Rosaviatsia reveals.

Cairo-based AlMasria would become the first Egyptian scheduled carrier to establish links between these resorts and Russia. The proposed services are intended as a replacement for Rossiya Airlines and Transaero flights.

In the first half of 2013, about 1.18 million Russian tourists visited Egypt. But both Rossiya and Transaero scaled back their charter services to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada as demand slumped in the wake of increased political unrest in the country.

The Russian government has not yet withdrawn a travel advisory that discourages citizens from visiting Egypt.